Mario Yamasaki On UFC Departure: ‘They Lost, Not Me’

Former UFC referee Mario Yamasaki is not holding grudges against the promotion.

Yamasaki was once a mainstay in the UFC, serving as a referee in the promotion for almost twenty years. He shared the Octagon with some of the best athletes the sport has ever seen, ranging from Henry Cejudo and Aljamain Sterling, to Chris Weidman and Robert Whittaker, and many, many more over the span of more than 400 fights he officiated.

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Mario Yamasaki Holds No Grudges

These days, Mario Yamasaki still acts as the occasional referee, but never for the UFC, with his last officiated bout for the promotion being between Valentina Shevchenko and Priscila Cachoeira. The reason this was his final bout was because many people, Dana White in particular, felt that he did not stop the fight in a timely manner and that Cachoeira took way more damage than she should have.

Looking back, almost five years after that moment, Yamasaki finds himself having no regrets about the way things went down with the UFC, as he explained in an interview with Talkin’ MMA. In fact, he is not only grateful for the experiences he got working with the promotion, but he actually feels like things worked out better for him in the long run.

“I loved it. I have no regrets. Without them, I would have never visited the cities and states or countries that I did. They always treated me first class, the hotels, everything was great,” Yamasaki said.

“It’s a cycle. I’d been there for 20 years. It’s something that I loved. It gave me joy, it gave me happiness, it gave me fame, and money. I can’t complain. They lost, not me, because I will continue.”

It is nice to see Mario Yamasaki not harboring ill will towards Dana White or the UFC, even if he also disagrees with the way he was treated. At the end of the day, all that is important for him is finding his own satisfaction, and it seems that he has done exactly that.

How do you remember the refereeing career of Mario Yamasaki?

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